Fourth-quarter revenue at Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) jumped 33% year over year thanks to its purchase of Celgene, which closed in the latter half of November. On a generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) basis, the company lost $0.55 per share due to the aforementioned acquisition. But on an adjusted basis, earnings were up 30% year over year to $1.22 per share. The results sent shares of Bristol-Myers higher. The stock was trading up 2% at 11:16 a.m. EST.

Sales of its top-selling drug Eliquis, which treats blood clots, jumped 19% year over year. Cancer treatment Opdivo is still a major blockbuster with revenues topping $1.7 billion in the quarter, but its sales were down 2% year over year due to competition from Merck's Keytruda and other drugs attacking the same immunotherapy mechanism.

Doctor with her hand on a patient's shoulder

Image source: Getty Images.

The big pharma plans to pay down debt to help maintain its credit rating, but noted that it still plans to increase its dividend and do additional deals -- licensing or acquisitions -- as well as repurchase shares. The board authorized an additional $5 billion for stock buybacks in addition to the approximately $1 billion that it had remaining under a 2016 authorization.

For this year, management expects revenue of $40.5 billion to $42.5 billion. On a GAAP basis, earnings per share are forecast to land in the $0.75 to $0.95 range as the Celgene acquisition continues to put a drag on earnings. On an adjusted basis, earnings per share are expected to be in the $6.00 to $6.20 range, up 30% at the midpoint. Management also gave adjusted earnings per share guidance for 2021, when it thinks the company will bring in $7.15 to $7.45, up almost 20% at the midpoint for guidance in both years.

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